Competenz Te Pūkenga adds logistics qualification to training offer

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 20, 2023

Competenz Te Pūkenga has added a new logistics qualification to its training offering in a bid to address critical labour shortages in New Zealand’s freight and logistics sectors.

Te Pūkenga offers more than 35 pathways into logistics sector careers, including supply chain and management qualifications, freight and shipping logistics, rail and marine operations, international freight, airport operations and commercial road transport. It’s these pathways that Te Pūkenga hopes will attract young people into the industry in time to address the critical labour shortage.

Research conducted in May 2023 by Hanga-Aro-Rau, the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council, identified that the logistics sector will have a shortage of 18,000 workers within the next five years.

Te Pūkenga National Ako Director Manufacturing Logistics Engineering Mike Crossan said immediate intervention is needed, or the implications for New Zealand’s economy are dire.

“The importance of logistics services across the economy and industries cannot be understated. Future economic growth will be constrained if the worker shortage is not addressed,” Crossan said.

“So New Zealand needs to invest in initiatives and training programmes to attract new people to the industry. We’d also like to see businesses offering competitive wages and benefits to attract and retain talent,” he said.

“The shortage of skilled workers disrupts the smooth flow of goods and leads to delays, inefficiencies and increased costs.”

Crossan said logistics is a great career option.

”Today’s logistics industry needs well-organised people with excellent analytical, communication and negotiation skills. By addressing the worker shortage with a comprehensive training offering, Te Pūkenga hopes to strengthen NZ’s logistics infrastructure to maintain its position as a key player in the global marketplace,” he said.

Samantha McNaughton, deputy chief executive of Hanga-Aro-Rau, said the logistics industry acts as a critical enabler and lynchpin in the economy, intersecting and supporting the growth of every other sector in some way.

“The logistics sector covers the movement of goods throughout our national and international supply chains – including order processing, inventory management and distribution across our air, sea and land ports,” she said.

“This research identifies several systemic issues facing logistics firms and calls for the immediate introduction of an industry-wide strategic approach to reduce barriers to training. It also shows that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of automation within logistics firms as they attempt to mitigate the international impact of skilled labour shortages.

“Rather than reducing the size of the workforce, these new technologies are changing the nature of the roles within the industry and are creating opportunities to grow through a more gender and culturally diverse workforce as well as facilitating the entry of more disabled workers into the sector for the first time.”

Te Pūkenga offers more than 60 qualifications in the logistics and transport sectors, including a Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain and Shipping Management, New Zealand Diploma in Aviation and New Zealand Certificate in International Freight Logistics.

More recently, a new suite of New Zealand Certificate Level 5 qualifications has been developed for the automotive industry to upskill technicians to an advanced level.

“We have worked with the automotive sector to create a new suite of qualifications that meet the growing demand for advanced technical knowledge,” Crossan said.

“Te Pūkenga is pleased to offer scholarships alongside these new qualifications to help individuals with their studies.”